Several new handlers attended the Pet Partners Handler Workshop this weekend and are on their way to becoming therapy teams with their dogs.
The most surprising thing for most people is that the Workshop is conducted without the animals being there. This is the time we teach the handlers how to be the best they can be and to understand Pet Partners rules and regulations and best practices. They learned the Pet Partners method of handling the animals, interacting with clients and how to choose the right therapy assignment for both ends of the leash.
We discussed the difference between animal assisted activity and animal assisted therapy.We had therapy dogs there for demonstration purposes. Usually I bring my Kirby for the day and he does an excellent job of demonstrating small dog handling. However since he is still recovering from knee surgery, Benny attended his first Workshop and he aced it!
We also had our Whippet Cricket help out and demonstrate how larger dogs are handled.
Everyone had quite a bit of work to do, lots to observe and learn and the positive energy filled the room.
Now the handlers will continue to work with their own dogs to perfect their skills and make sure they are ready for Evaluation. This is a very strong group of humans so we hope the other end of the leash is just as ready!